Writerly Notions: Stress & Focus

This morning I spent a few hours calibrating and analyzing what causes me stress and my stress levels. Or more specially “needling things that send me into a mental whirlwind panic/confusion.”

I won’t go into the details. Suffice to say, the categories of Creator, Writer, and Promotion feed off one another to create the highest levels of stress and the highest amount of stress. Additionally, as with this blog, some of the trouble comes from the simple question of: what am I doing? What do I intend? (I hope I’ll be able to post my thoughts on that, which have been waiting in my drafts, soon.)

A few, unrelated tidbits I learned about me and my writing today:

  1. a playlist I made of songs I can listen to over and over without getting sick of them lend themselves to worldbuilding and character development in Nights of Heroes. Which is interesting since it may imply that if left to it, I might think about that series a lot.
  2. I realized the third section in my recently complete novel (which is in revision) is more incomplete than I realized. Getting a handle on the chronology has helped a whole bunch (i.e. cementing dates so they don’t wiggle around; I have a tendency toward flexible dating…) Additionally, I realized why the second section comes off as different than the rest — it has subplots! The trouble is I’m unsure how much the content of those subplots plays into the larger story. So anyway, it gives me focus. I can work with that.

Sorry if this was a short and brusque.

I took an iPad photo of by analysis notes, if anyone’s curious.

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Writerly Notions: What to do?

So I’m in a bit of a muddle. (Also, don’t mind me, I’m just clearing my thoughts.)

What should I work on? Okay, scratch that. Should I write the final section of my long, long, long overdue demon mythology story, even if I’m not 100% sure it actually makes sense, nor do I know what’s happening? Or should I try to make it all fit together?

And see, that’s the hitch. A lot of ideas I’ve had post 2010 (Romance of Three Jewels, The Painting Story, NIAR, 12D + Bluebeard) actually have structure. Story structure. Conflict. Character arcs. Story stages. Do I know every detail? Probably not. Do I have enough to see how the plot connects and how my characters will grow and get from one story stage to the next? Oh, yes.

But I have at least three major projects that came before 2010. And it’s a pain because they’re not, well, as well structured.

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January Summary

a day late

As part of the Every Day Challenge, instigated by the-cassandra-project, I set up two challenges. The second one, or Challenge #2, focused on Nights of Heroes — revision, outlining, character development. I posted about my progress it every couple days. These posts can be found here at my writing journal.

Other general writing posts can be found here.

My Challenge #1, which was to write 100+ words every day, can be found here (among other material and inspiration related to the story.)

Finally, I made character aesthetics.

Every Single Day

for future updates visit my writing journal

The Cassandra Project proposed a great idea – Every Single Day Challenge – where you do something every day throughout January for charity raising. I recommend anyone who can to spread the word about this Challenge and donate. I’m doing two:

Every Single Day [January Challenge] #1

I’m writing 100+ words every day in a long-standing story about demons, the moon, and love. And even if I’m just one tiny seed in the grand forest of people, I’ll sow what good I can. If we plant enough seeds and take care of them, well, then we’ll have a forest.

Every Single Day [January Challenge] #2

When I first heard about the Every Single Day Challenge I thought: Hey, I think of my Nights of Heroes project every day anyway. So I wanted to use that time — revising, thinking, chronicling, name-building, drawing, writing, and even old original content* — as a means to do something good for the world.

noh-explained (or set up)

*my Dreams: basically Disney characters developed like original characters rather than adhering to Disney’s characterizations

What to write?

11 December 2016:

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a lot of my thoughts and feelings down. It felt as if I was pushing myself to really think and consider things: how I felt, what I felt, my situation, who I was, what I believed.

I didn’t post any of it; I never post those kinds of reflections. I have a writing document, or a journaling word document. It’s where I can work through thoughts and confusion and realizations. Or at least it feels like I am. I don’t have to worry if the paragraphs fit together, or if it makes sense, or if it has a unified topic, or if it is writerly or witty or just good writing. I don’t have to worry about if my feelings sound good. I can just focus on what I mean or what I feel.

Almost two weeks ago, I posted a verbatim one about my purpose and why I write. I hadn’t written anything since then.

Today’s the seventh Anniversary of The Princess and the Frog. It’s the only Disney movie that directly influenced my writing. That winter soon after it premiered, me and my immediate family went to Walt Disney World and stayed at resort near Animal Kingdom. It was an awesome place. (It was connected to the safari/savanna so there was a waterhole area outside where you could view animals; we saw a giraffe drinking on the last day.*) But it was really out of the way.

More importantly there was a lot of PatF stuff being promoted. So, the African décor, animals, PatF, and the Christmas lights and spirit mashed up in my mind to deter and take over the second book of my Aladdin-lyric story.

That’s a really bad working name, but it’s the best I can think of to explain it.  Essentially, I wanted to take the cut lyrics from Disney’s Aladdin and see if I could create a compelling story out of it. Or more precisely, if I could take a lazy character and a spoiled character and see if I could make them compelling. By the end, it had begun to deviant from that idea and sink into a strange fog focused on the early stages of my Dreams. Then PatF came out. And I got two new characters that changed the plot.

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So, Nanowrimo…

tl;dr: Had one novel planned for Nanowrimo; at the last minute changed it to another one with a depressed character pov because I felt writing about her and working through her issues was more important, but in the first week I was more motivated to write 13 short stories instead. Currently, I am not doing Nanowrimo this month.

Had one novel planned (Nano.1) that was a detailed outline I was excited to get into. (Some of the details may have changed based on a comment raised whilst reading The Silmarillion.)

That novel was flipped at the last minute to a novel (Nano.2) about the conclusion of my Camp Nanowrimo because 1. it was easier to create character aesthetics and 2. I felt it would be more useful because it centered on a depressed/anxious character pov. i.e. it would be beneficial for me to write that story.

The trouble I now realize is even though I have characters and I have events staged for where the novel is supposed to go… It’s not really about anything except a character feeling like crap. (Okay, there’s a whole quest to find lost mirror shards that distort reality and emotion…) But I can’t figure out what it’s about.

Case in point: I compared Nano.2 to the other stories in its category (Lineage of the Moon) and this is what I got.

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Chronicle #1: 1 Oct – 8 Oct 2016

As I said, I want to start sharing my writing or at least what I’m doing with my writing projects. Now that I’m more settled (on a New England autumn foliage tour), here’s what’s I’ve been working on since October started.

  • wrote two scenes in my unfinished NaNoWriMo 2015, decided that that story (since it’s a collection of interrelated short stories) would be better written after the one before it (since writing a novel in the order its read in may work better for me), and have since made good progress
  • said content (witches) of said progress inspired me to write a vignette (~1,600 words) about one character’s backstory and the comparison of witches from different parts of the world he inhabits
  • sketched, inked, and partially colored a picture of a character from NaNo 2015
  • did some initial brainstorm writing for some old ideas (Garden/Moon Lineage)
  • sketched, inked, and fully colored a picture from a recent Drabble A Day (I was quite pleased with it)

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Gate of the Gods

THE STURDY GATES, crafted entirely out of Wood, stood emblazoned by moonlight before Rismene. Metallic stakes were drilled into the Tree’s cut, smoothed, and carved branches. Fine pictures spiraled all across the upper arches; they were strained blue, as if to depict a brighter, moonless sky above and stood over each side of the gate.

It was breathless, impressive sight. Rismene had to admire that. Still…

Marching up to the el-rivka’s1 gate, she banged loudly on the wood.

“Come out. I’ve come to claim my heirtage! My father was one of you! You cannot lock me out! Let me in!”


1 gods’

Written: 1 August 2014

Word count:  100

A/N: my earliest attempt at trying to figure out what the gods’ home looked like; also this is my first time writing Rismene

Writing Demons: Meaning

So after everything I’ve been talking about, why do I use the term “demon” to refer these creatures?

After a certain Disney cartoon episode aired, I finally realized how demons can be simultaneous with terror. Admittedly, it was more weird-horror (which is apparently not something I care for), but it still made me see for the first time how a creature classified as a demon might actually be frightening.

And I mean frightening in a way other than how bears can be frightening because they’re stronger and deadlier than a human physically  and operate on completely different comprehension of the world.

Which, interestingly, points out precisely where my conception of my demons originates: biology.

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